THE ODD COUPLE 

          When the annual DEFCON hacker convention in Las
          Vegas kicked off last week, the techhead crowd had an
          unusual keynote: from the computer-crime squads of the
          Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

          Needless to say, relations between the two groups have
          not always been so civil. As a popular Internet joke
          relates: What do you say to a computer programmer in a
          suit and tie? Answer: Will the defendant please rise?

          For the first time in my memory, we were invited, says
          George Grotz, an FBI special agent. And we were
          received quite well.

          The bureau, which has three computer-crime squads
          nationwide, told roughly 300 attendees about the damage
          caused by seemingly harmless break-ins and pranks.
          Grotz points out that the label hacker, which most media
          use to refer to a computer thief, is actually a term meaning
          a diehard programmer. A cracker is someone who
          breaks into systems. 

          Our goal is to convince crackers to become hackers,
          Grotz says.